Dosing..As Much As Tolerated
As many of you may recall, I wrote a very sad farewell post in Feb.2014, to our wonderful dog, Wags, of 19 years. I went on to write about how much pets help us to cope with so many things, and they do. Not only do our pets help us to cope with chronic illness, they bring fun and comfort in many situations. They are truly our family members.
When it happened, our grown children assured us that it would not be long until we had another pet. Through the years, we had the joy of sharing our lives with cats, dogs, parrots & hamsters. Okay, I take that back..the hamsters were not a joy and had no redeeming qualities (though they did remind me of my never-ending exercise of searching for diagnoses). Think..mindless running in circles and never getting anywhere.
SjoDry’s Futile Declarations
I was adamant..no more bonding with pets, only to be heart-broken when they pass; no more potty-training or senior accidents on the floor to worry about; no more expensive vet bills; food & pet care; no more planning & pet-sitters to take a trip; no more, no more.
I was even starting to collect plush carpet samples for the new whole-house carpet we had been planning since moving in 3+ years before. Yes, we were truly ‘Empty Nesters’ with no ties or encumbrances to hold us back. Free at last…
It Was Inevitable.
Of course our daughter Kelsey, would periodically comment that Santa may bring us a surprise..And I, with automated perfection, would fire-back..Oh no…don’t you do that..I mean it..we are done! And I really believed it..at least for awhile. But the forces were against us. Every time we turned on the TV, we were assaulted with furry puppies doing cute things all while being fed the most nutritious food out there. And we couldn’t even enjoy a Hallmark movie without some precious holiday puppy sub-plot.
The Final Blow
The final blow came when after the recent blizzard hit the east coast. It only took one adorable picture of our niece’s cute dog moving through a 2 foot snow path, to launch me back into a memory of doing the same with our beloved Wags. And then it happened, I picked up my Ipad and did a search for Puppies For Adoption in Pittsburgh. I knew what I was doing and how dangerous it was. I knew that one ‘in person’ visit to just “look” at a puppy would do both of us in like a drug addict going after a fix.
The problem was that I found a precious face looking at me with two dark button eyes. What would one email inquiry hurt? Right? Was precious button eyes still available? No, was the answer, but his sister is and she looks just like him. We probably both knew then that we were starting down the path of no return.
I very feebly suggested that we should probably make a list of all of the pros and cons to make a smart decision. So we did. And as we might of guessed, quite logically, our “cons” list was longer than our “pros” list. So I said, what we were both thinking..if we go see this little 10 week old puppy, we are going to have a totally emotional response..the logic will be out the window. Of course, we had to go by the bank to have the adoption fee in hand…just in case.
The Rest Of The Story
As Paul Harvey says and you could have guessed…here’s the rest of the story. We now have a new family member. Ivy is a Shi-Chon (part ShiTzu & part Bichon Frise). The breed is called the Teddy Bear breed because they look like little Teddy Bears. Ivy elicits the same response wherever we go, OMG..look at her..how adorable! She is. She weighs a whopping half pound. So let’s see, does she qualify for being called a Sjogren’s Syndrome Therapy? I think yes. Pets make us happy, lower our blood pressure and make us laugh. So for those fun moments, we escape our Sjogren’s. Yes, that is a never-ending treatment I know I can always count on! I suppose I could even rationalize our mad dashes across the room to get her to the “potty pad” as some small form of exercise. Not only that, she’s hypoallergenic and does not shed. Let’s just say that SjoDry can rationalize Ivy in the same way she does her chocolate.
Here’s to cuddly, huggable puppies as a long-time therapeutic treatment!